New Year’s Resolution

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions; they never held the allure for me that they do for many. But this year, I do have one thing I want to accomplish on a more regular basis. It isn’t anything deep and meaningful like making someone smile each day; it isn’t something significant like losing 30 pounds. It is, however, something that I want to accomplish, which is the main definition of a resolution, is it not?

In July, I turned 21 years old, and received a wonderful gift from my parents; a new digital camera. The camera received some use on road trips that I took near the end of the summer, but has been more useful as a dust-collector as of late. I have taken some photos for my cooking experiment, and of a few other things, but I haven’t even gotten around to uploading them, either to my computer, or to the vast array of social networking sites I use. This brings me to my two-part resolution:

In 2010, I plan to take more pictures using my digital camera, and to share more of them online so my friends/connections can see my efforts.

It’s my hope that the resolution to share my photos will provide accountability, forcing me to follow through with the first portion of the resolution, to take the photos to begin with! I have so many different ways to share photos now, between Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, that I really have no excuse not to share the photos that I have already taken. As for taking photos to begin with, I hope to chronicle any trips I take (myself or with the band department), as well as use my camera to track my cooking experiments, and any other experiences I may have on campus.

Some members of my Twitter network have embarked on the 365-day photo challenge, in which they plan to take one photo for each day of the year, and post it to their Flickr account. I considered taking this challenge to force me to use my camera more often, but since I haven’t taken even one photo in weeks, I thought it might be too severe a change for me. I wanted to set an attainable goal, and I think I have done just that. To those of you who are trying the 365-day challenge, I wish you the best of luck!

To everyone else, stay tuned  both here on my website, as well as on my social networking sites (see the left sidebar) for updated photos, starting next week when I return to campus and dust off my camera! Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a slideshow from a Flickr set of photos I’ve taken on the University of Miami Campus. Enjoy!

Happy new year!

In the Meantime

While I’m finishing up the semester and getting ready to put some posts up about my cooking experiment, here’s a little something to pass the time:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErMWX–UJZ4

Hey elementary school teachers: don’t you ever tell me that a student “can’t do much” again. Do I make myself clear?

Happy Holidays! 🙂

Oh, and happy 100th post for me! What a roller-coaster it’s been; here’s hoping for 100 more!

My Cooking Experiment

I have never been a chef. Before I came to college, the extent of my kitchen prowess was heating up canned soup, cooking store-bought pasta, and heating up frozen dinners in the microwave. I never really had to make anything more; my dad was the chef of the family, and put together some wonderful creations for dinner each night. When I started here at UM, the access I had to cooking appliances decreased, and my food consumption was limited to restaurants, the dining hall, and anything microwaveable.

However, things are now different. I have just moved into an apartment with a full kitchen, and have realized that eating at restaurants for every meal is just not financially an option. As such, I’ve started to do more grocery shopping, and making my own food. As I said, I am no Bobby Flay. However, I’m starting to get bored with spaghetti, Ramen noodles, and chicken nuggets, so I’m going to start experimenting with new recipes. This experience, of course, is likely to be a comical one, as I struggle through preparing most likely the simplest of entrees! For this reason, I’m going to try to share some of these experiences with you!

Being my compulsive self, I need to have a format for each of these posts, instead of just rambling on about cooking, so my format (for now, at least) will be as follows:

Entree:

Side Dishes (if any):

Materials:

Recipe:

Pictures:

What I Learned:

Hopefully, the “What I Learned” area will let me recap any earth-shattering (and prehaps comical!) conclusions I came to during my time in the kitchen! By the way, I’m not trying to steal an idea from the movie “Julie and Julia,” I just figured you guys could use a laugh or two 🙂

My first experience took place a few nights ago, when I went out on a limb and tried making Hamburger Helper. I’ll have a post up on it soon!

In addition, if you have any recipes you enjoy making (of any difficulty level!), I encourage you to head over to my Contact page, and shoot me a message with the recipe! Who knows, I might even prepare it as part of this little experiment 🙂

Getting Old…

A lot has happened in the month-and-a-half since my last post here. It can all be summed up in three words, however: I’m Getting Old!

While generally speaking, 21 is not an age that most would consider old, there have been a few things that have happened over the past 6 or so weeks that have made me much more aware of the fact that I’m “growing up” and soon will be in the “real world.” Allow me to list a few:

  1. Turning 21 – Yes, the biggest sign of my aging hit me on the 21st of July, when I celebrated my 21st birthday. While the evening was a blast, and a lot of fun to share with great friends, one of them said it best when he noted, “it’s all downhill from here!” 21 is really the last age at which there is any “reward” for a birthday (for those of you out of country-if there are any-I am now allowed to consume alcohol), so my friend made a great point when he pointed out that from here on out, there really isn’t anything to look forward to on a birthday except the knowledge that you’ve lived another year.
  2. Staffing a Band Camp – I have now participated in 7 band camps (plus one drum major camp) as a member of a marching band. In early August, however, I had the opportunity to work as a staff member for a band camp for the first time, helping a friend who recently graduated from UMiami with her second band camp as a teacher. This was a really eye-opening experience, and helped me develop my marching band teaching skills immensely. On top of that, it was downright fun!
  3. UM Band Camp – I began my third year as a member of the Band of the Hour this August, with band camp here in Miami. This year, I hold two leadership positions in the band; I am the Band Captain, as well as a Section Leader for the trumpet section. It’s hard to believe that I am starting my third year with the band, and even harder to believe that I only have one year left after this one.
  4. Junior-Level Classes – Since the first day I arrived on campus in 2007, I heard horror stories of the insane course load of Junior year in the Music Education program. I heard stories of people averaging 3 hours of sleep for the whole year, having to skip meals to finish projects, and having no sense of social life. While the semester has just started, it seems as though these stories may have been slight exaggerations. What really struck me, however, was the realization that all the projects I have heard the “older” Music Ed majors complain about for the past two years, the projects that classified someone as “old” once they had to do them, are now being found on my syllabi. Now, I’m the old person, who will probably be complaining about the massive load of projects an assignments come November.

All of these events, of course have been positive ones in my life, but when you put them all together, they are also a stark reminder that pretty soon, I’ll be graduating and starting a new stage of my life. Scary, huh?

In other news, the first football game of the season is just over a week away, as the Band of the Hour and the University of Miami family will travel up to Tallahassee this weekend to watch the ‘Canes take on rival Florida State in a prime-time game on ESPN on Labor Day. Keep an eye out for me on ESPN, and stay tuned for updates on this blog, and on my Twitter page!

Where I’ve Been

As you’ve probably noticed, it has been a while since I’ve posted here. Before I go any further, allow me to apologize for this. I’m attributing it to a lack of motivation, and a focus on other endeavors. However, I thought I would share some song lyrics that have been meaningful to me lately, in lieu of a long-winded post. Again, my apologies for being missing for so long; I am hoping the inspiration comes back soon… for now, take these as an inspiration to always love in life, even if it’s the only thing you do.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, you make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.

A foggy day in London Town
Had me low and had me down
I viewed the morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn’t passed,
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London Town
The sun was shining everywhere.

Another winter day has come
And gone away
In even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know